Koren Hebrew Bible

Leeroy Malachinski Leeroy at cool.dk
Sat Mar 24 15:29:29 EST 2001

>One question. Is it safe to assume that this is "diplomatic" text
>reproducing codex L?

The Koren edition is based on the second edition of the Mikraot Gedolot or
the Rabbinical Bible edited by the Masoretic scholar Jacob ben Hayim ibn
Adonijah in Venice 1524. This edition, by the way, later served as the
basis for the BHK. This second edition of Mikraot Gedolot was later
published in Warsaw with some corrections of the Masoretic scholar Solomon
Norzi and I think some others. In short the Koren edition has nothing as
such to do with L. It is, however, "the" masoretic text for observant Jews
and its consonantal base is that employed in the Synagogue (except for
Yemenite Jewry, who differ from it by one letter, I think).
The reason this edition was abandoned by scholars was due to its eclectic
nature (is this what you mean by "diplomatic"? I'm not sure what you mean
by that term).

In this connection it should be stressed that L's consonantal text was
secondarily adapted to the Ben-Asher masorah, as is evident from the
masoretic apparatus.
My point is that the MT is no one text but a large group of texts stemming
from the same "family", though there are numerous differences between one
text and the other.
I guess many scholars would not be able to take advantage of the
differences between Koren and L, in part because there is no masorah
published in the Koren edition. In BHS only the "Masorah Parva" is
published (and this not even all of it). All in all I guess that its a
good cheap edition to have if one does not care to drag the BHS along.
BHS, however, is more accurate, but if one is not a masoretic expert I
guess its not that great a loss.
In fact I sometimes use it myself if I have many books to take with my and
don't have room for the BHS!

All the best,


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list